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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Imagine Michigan: FIRST Robotics World Championship participants and spectators can learn about life, careers and opportunity in the Comeback State

Attendees can connect with Michigan’s movers and shakers in tech, manufacturing, tourism and higher education

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LANSING, Mich. – As more than 35,000 students descend on Detroit next week for what has become known as the Super Bowl for nerds, FIRST Robotics participants and spectators from near and far will get their chance to experience the people and products that move Michigan during the 2018 FIRST Robotics World Championships in Detroit.

And while competition may take center stage during the three-day robotics competition extravaganza, people interested in learning more about what all Michigan has to offer will have access to the state’s movers and shakers in technology, manufacturing, tourism and higher education at the 2018 Imagine Michigan expo.

Imagine Michigan will take place during the FIRST Robotics World Championships from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 27 at GM World inside the General Motors Renaissance Center. Admission is free.

“Michigan has so much to offer young people throughout the state, across the country and around the world,” Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development Director Roger Curtis said. “Imagine Michigan is an opportunity for Michigan and Detroit to show off its high-tech industries, world-class educational institutions and the innovation going on from coast to coast in our amazingly diverse and beautiful state.”

The expo is a partnership between the Department of Talent and Economic Development, Consumers Energy and General Motors. It’s also one of the state’s efforts to grow and attract talent, and make people aware of the array of opportunities for great careers here at home.

By 2024, in the information technology and manufacturing career sectors alone, there will be nearly 400,000 job openings. Students participating in FIRST programs are two times as likely to major in science or engineering and more than 75 percent of FIRST alumni are currently in a STEM field as a student or professional.

“It’s exciting to welcome so many bright and talented young students to Detroit – the city that put the world on wheels,” Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe said. “Imagine Michigan is an opportunity for companies and schools to connect with the next generation of industry leaders, it’s also an opportunity for FIRST families to connect with world-class organizations and institutions that call Michigan home.”

The FIRST Robotics World Championships will bring more than 700 teams from around the world together in four levels of competition spread across the Cobo Center and Ford Field in Detroit.

Companies and colleges participating in the Imagine Michigan expo during the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Detroit are listed below:

  • Atomic Object
  • Automation Alley
  • DASI Solutions
  • Dow Chemical
  • Esys Automation
  • Futuramic Tool & Engineering Company
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • Going PRO in Michigan
  • Grand Circus
  • Grand Valley State University 
  • Kettering University
  • Lake Superior State University 
  • Lift
  • Macomb Community College
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Nexteer Automotive
  • Oakland Community College
  • Oakland County
  • Pfizer
  • PlanetM
  • Pure Michigan
  • RCO Aerospace
  • The Detroit Merchantile Co.
  • University of Michigan
  • Washtenaw Community College

Learn more about the event at